Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe: Fuses of the Civil War

Richard Bell – University of Maryland

About Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe

“So, you’re the little lady who started this great war!” said President Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1862 when he finally met Harriet Beecher Stowe. This “little lady” was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin: a roller-coaster anti-slavery novel that had become a huge best-seller after its publication in 1852. Lincoln and others at the time believed that Stowe’s novel had caused the Civil War by intensifying public sentiment against slavery in the North. It also spurred a reactionary surge of proslavery feeling in the states that would later secede to form the Confederate States of America.

History of Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe

But Lincoln also could have been talking to and about Harriet Tubman. Like Stowe, Tubman’s activism advanced the fight against slavery and edged this country closer to Civil War. As the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, Tubman and her allies built an antislavery escape network that stretched from the bowels of the slave South all the way into British Canada. Join us as Dr. Richard Bell leads us in a talk about both of these American icons.

Learn more about Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe

Learn more about the history of Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe by visiting our online history lectures. With new educational and entertaining history lectures every week, we’re constantly adding great history courses to our library. Below are some recent additions as well as some student favorites, including 6000 Years Of Religion, American Democracy: Where Are We Now, & FDR & The Evolution Of An American Ideal.